Honu House Hawaii Logo



11 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Did you know there are over 17,000 substance abuse treatment facilities scattered across the United States? While this is excellent news if you’re looking for help with a substance abuse disorder (SUD), it can also make selecting a suitable rehab center daunting.

In this guide, we’ll explore 11 common mistakes to avoid when choosing a drug and alcohol rehab center to help you make an informed decision.

Not Considering the Specific Addiction

Most drug and alcohol rehab facilities offer treatment programs for a variety of SUDs. However, some rehab facilities only offer treatment for specific addictions, such as opioid addictions.

So, before choosing a rehab facility, make sure it offers an addiction treatment program that meets your specific needs. Generally, a rehab center that offers comprehensive care will offer treatment programs for the following substance addictions:

Overlooking the Type of Treatment Program at the Rehab Center

There are primarily two types of treatment programs for substance addictions: inpatient or residential treatment programs and outpatient treatment programs.

Inpatient treatment programs occur in a facility where patients stay round-the-clock over the treatment period. Conversely, outpatient treatment programs allow patients to visit the facility periodically to receive treatment while residing at home.

Before settling for a rehab center, make sure it offers a suitable treatment program for you or your loved one.

Generally, residential treatment programs are better suited for people with severe addictions, weak support systems, and co-occurring mental health disorders or other health complications.

On the other hand, outpatient programs are ideal for people with mild addictions who want to take care of their family or continue going to school or work while receiving treatment.

Choosing the Right Rehab - Key Differences at a Glance

Focusing Solely on the Location of the Drug and Alcohol Rehab

If you perform an online search for ”drug and alcohol rehab facilities near me,” you’ll receive thousands of results. While choosing a drug and alcohol rehab center near you might seem like a no-brainer, it isn’t always the best course of action.

Expanding your search can enable you to find rehab centers better suited for you or your loved one’s specific needs. Additionally, choosing a distant rehab center can detach you or your loved one from the people and places associated with the addiction, making it easier to focus on recovery.

Finally, choosing an alcohol and drug rehab center that’s far away can offer more privacy, particularly if you live in a small town where word spreads fast.

Prioritizing Amenities Over Essentials in a Rehabilitation Center

Luxury rehab centers offer a variety of amenities that can enhance recovery, such as private rooms, gyms, swimming pools, saunas, gourmet meals, and laundry service. While these amenities may make you inclined to choose a rehab center over others, they don’t guarantee the quality of its treatment program.

Instead of solely focusing on amenities, assess the quality of the rehab center’s treatment program by checking whether it uses evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), examining the staff-to-patient ratio, and inquiring about the success rates of the center’s programs.

Not Checking Credentials and Certifications of the Rehab Center

Many drug and alcohol rehab centers have multidisciplinary teams that consist of various healthcare professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, nurses, and addiction counselors.

Before enrolling you or your loved one in a rehab center, it’s essential to check the staff’s credentials. Verifying the credentials and certifications of the facility’s staff can assure you they have the expertise required to provide quality treatment. Additionally, it can give you or your loved one peace of mind knowing you’re in good hands during your treatment.

Ignoring the Licensing of the Rehabilitation Center

Besides checking the credentials of the rehab facility’s staff, confirm if it’s licensed. Check your state’s health department website to ascertain whether the rehab center is licensed. Confirming whether the rehab you’re considering is licensed can ensure it meets all the required safety standards.

Not Inquiring About Treatment Length at the Drug and Alcohol Rehab

The length of rehab programs varies from one rehab center to another. Typically, most drug and alcohol rehab facilities offer 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day programs. However, some facilities offer extended care programs lasting several months or years.

Before choosing a rehab program, choose a rehabilitation center that offers a program length suitable for your needs and circumstances. As a rule of thumb, longer programs are better suited for individuals with severe addictions and offer better results.

Ignoring Underlying Mental Health Issues

Many people battling with SUDs also struggle with mental health conditions. In fact, a 2020 survey revealed that about 17 million American adults had a mental illness and SUD. If you or your loved one falls into this category, you’re said to have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.

Many drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers specialize in treating co-occurring disorders, but some don’t. If you check yourself or your loved one into the latter, you won’t get comprehensive treatment. Sure, you or your loved one will receive treatment for the drug addiction, but the treatment program won’t tackle underlying mental health issues like depression or anxiety.

So, before choosing an alcohol and drug rehab facility, ask if it offers a dual diagnosis treatment program.

Not Inquiring About Aftercare Programs Offered by Rehab Center

Recovery isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. Once you or your loved one leaves rehab, recovery doesn’t end. An aftercare program can play a significant role in the recovery journey post-rehab.

Look for a rehab facility that offers an aftercare program or sober companion service. Aftercare programs can help individuals maintain the healthy coping strategies they learnt in rehab, keep them on track with their recovery goals, and reduce the risk of relapse post-rehab.

Navigating Recovery - Sober Companion Services

Assuming Insurance Covers All Rehab Expenses

Many drug and alcohol rehab centers accept insurance. However, don’t assume your insurance plan will cover all your rehab expenses. Contact your insurer or insurance agent to inquire about your rehab coverage and potential out-of-pocket costs.

For instance, many insurance plans often limit the duration of rehab treatment coverage. If your rehab stay extends beyond the specified duration in your insurance policy document, you might be responsible for additional expenses. Additionally, while your insurer may cover certain medications, you might have to pay for others out-of-pocket.

That said, some insurers don’t cover rehab costs. If your insurer doesn’t pay for rehab, don’t despair. Some other ways to cover rehab expenses include:

  • Financing: Some drug and alcohol rehab centers provide flexible financing options that allow individuals to pay for rehab in installments.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and Fundly allow individuals to solicit donations from people they know and even strangers to raise funds for rehab treatment.
  • Grants: Some rehabilitation centers offer grants for people who can’t afford rehab treatment.

Focusing Only on Rehab Costs Without Considering Quality

Rehab costs vary significantly from one treatment center to another. For instance, luxury rehab centers generally charge a premium compared to standard rehab centers because of their additional perks.

Before checking yourself or a loved one into rehab, carefully assess the rehab costs to ensure they’re within your budget. Factors that may influence the cost of a rehab treatment program include:

  • Treatment length: Longer treatment programs generally cost more than shorter ones.
  • Treatment type: Residential treatment programs typically cost more than outpatient ones.
  • Amenities: Rehab centers that offer luxurious amenities cost more than those without them.

However, regardless of your budget, don’t settle for the least costly rehab center you come across. Instead, weigh the cost implications against other factors like addiction treatments offered, the quality of care, and post-rehab support services.

11 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Drug and Alcohol Rehab - Infographic

Find a Suitable Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Hawaii

If you conduct an online search for ”alcohol and drug rehabs near me,” you’ll receive tons of results. Skimming through numerous web pages to find a suitable alcohol rehab in Hawaii can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.

By avoiding these 11 mistakes you can select a suitable rehab facility. At Honu House, we offer a variety of evidence-based treatment programs for a variety of substance addictions. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment approaches.


Do Rehab Centers Offer Treatment for Various Substance Use Disorders?

Many rehab centers offer addiction treatment for various substance addictions, such as alcohol, marijuana, or opioid addiction. However, some rehab centers specialize in specific substances. Be open about the substance you or your loved one is battling with to find an appropriate rehab center.

Are Residential Treatment Programs Better Than Outpatient Ones?

There’s no one-size-fits-all rehab treatment program. While residential treatment programs may be better suited for individuals with severe addictions, outpatient programs may be better suited for individuals with mild addictions who want to maintain their regular schedules while undergoing treatment.

Is Aftercare Important After Completing a Rehab Program?

Aftercare is crucial post-rehab. Aftercare programs provide individuals in recovery with ongoing support and guidance, helping to prevent relapse.

How Long Do Rehab Programs for Substance Use Disorders Last?

The length of rehab programs varies depending on the severity of the addiction, co-occurring mental health conditions, and other factors. Typically, most programs last 30, 60, or 90 days. However, some programs can last several months or years.

Does Health Insurance Cover Rehab Costs?

Many health insurers pay for rehab costs, but the extent of coverage varies from insurer to insurer. Contact your insurer to understand your coverage and to ascertain whether the insurer covers rehab expenses.

  • Author Profile Picture

    By John Burke

  • July 10, 2024

John Burke, founder of Honu House Hawaii, shares crucial tips on avoiding common mistakes when choosing a drug and alcohol rehab, ensuring a successful recovery journey.

Related posts: